Massachusetts Pharmacy School Opening Delayed

UMass Lowell School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was originally planning to welcome its inaugural pharmacy students in fall 2017, but the school's opening has been delayed.

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences was originally planning to welcome its inaugural pharmacy students in fall 2017, but the school’s opening has been delayed.

Senate budget cuts are reportedly the reason why the school will have to open at a later time—potentially in 2018, but maybe even later, according to The Lowell Sun.

Provost Donald Pierson told The Lowell Sun that the school was shorted $1.5 million due to mid-year budget cuts, so administrators decided to delay the opening instead of getting rid of programs.

“We were counting on more funding from the state, but with this reduction, we had to postpone our application for accreditation,” Pierson told The Lowell Sun. “We were going to submit the accreditation application in January, but we don't have enough funding to start up the school.”

Since some UMass students had been planning to attend the pharmacy school in 2017, the school is now in the process of communicating the news to the university at large.

“We’ve been reaching out to the families and students who indicated they would plan to transfer into the program once it was available,” Pierson told The Lowell Sun.

There are also plans to consider external support for funding, such as private benefactors, Pierson told the paper.

Back in April 2015, the UMass Lowell School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences laid claim to being the first and only public pharmacy school in the state, and Mehdi Boroujerdi, PhD, was appointed founding dean.

Once the school opens, students can expect a Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, which will focus on drug discovery and development, and the Department of Pharmacy Practice, which will explore specializations of the clinical science of pharmacy.

These 2 departments will teach students pursuing PharmD, MS, and PhD programs, according to the school.